I think that at this point in the Beta talents are at a good enough place that I can talk about them without fear that they will change too drastically. I’ve tried using most of them as I play on the Beta and heal 5 mans, so I want to talk about where I’ve found use for each one. I’ll try to give my thoughts on each talent and work through them all tier by tier.
Speed of Light: This spell works just like a rogue’s Sprint. You have access to a huge speed increase once every minute. I have found this to be very useful in emergency movement situations. Because of the cooldown I have found it to be the least useful to me, but it there are those moments when using this allowed me to easily move out of AoE or quickly put some distance between me and something trying to kill me.
Long Arm of the Law: This talent is a much more available but slower sprint. I personally think that for an on demand sprint this works much better because it is almost every single time it is needed, but you also need to be able to judge something for it to work. If there are no enemies nearby it leaves you without a movement increasing ability to rely on. I also found that while playing Prot and Ret this ability lost a bit of it’s usefulness because I was using Judgement in my rotation and at times had to wait for it to come off cooldown for my speed increase.
Pursuit of Justice: The static speed increase is super nice, and because of the maximum Holy Power cap being increased to 5 I usually found myself with at least 2 Holy Power. This made it so that in dungeons I usually had movement speed of at least 30%. The drawback to this talent is that you have to sit on some of your Holy Power to have your speed increase, but with a little bit of foresight you can have the maximum movement speed without gimping your healing.
Overall for this tier I think my favorite is Pursuit of Justice. It has worked the best for me when I do five mans. For Holy I think I would place Long Arm of the Law and Speed of Light just about even. Depending on the situation it may be better to have Long Arm to have access to the short boost more often, but if the situation calls for being able to move extremely quickly less often Speed of Light would be better.
Fist of Justice: Hammer of Justice with half the cooldown.
Repentance: Repentance still works the same way as the current Retribution version with the exception that the cooldown has been replaced with a 1.5 second cast time. It works very well to make large packs easier to pull.
Burden of Guilt: I honestly haven’t found much use for this slow. I’ve used it when I’m trying to run from an add that the tank hasn’t picked up, but if a tank manages to grab everything this wouldn’t happen. I think this talent will be much more useful in PvP, but there may be an add that needs to be kited in some encounter that this can be used on.
I personally don’t see much use for this tier in PvE content. Repentance will be a nice CC to have for simplifying pulls, but a slow for a single target and a stun won’t really see much use for a healer in raiding.
Selfless Healer: Unless you find yourself with free time to cast Judgement during an encounter, this talent will not find much use. The increase is nice, but having to cast 3 Judgements to get the benefit may not be viable if you’re having trouble healing through damage.
Eternal Flame: This spell is useful in situations where the tank, or any single target, is constantly taking damage. It’s a decently strong HoT that can keep some heals going the tanks way along with Beacon heals while you heal the group.
Sacred Shield: I’ve found this spell to be the most useful while doing normal dungeons. The shield is very nice to even out damage, and when combined with the critical chance that it adds to Flash of Light it gives us a huge bonus on a single target.
I think that Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield make this tier a very powerful one. They both have components that make them very good with small amounts of damage over a prolonged period. I think I will favor Sacred Shield because of the synergy it has with Glyph of Flash of Light. If you have Sacred Shield up on someone and need an emergency heal on them, a Flash of Light, with increased critical chance, followed by a buffed Divine Light will do wonders.
Hand of Purity: This spell has a very specific effect. It will work very well on any fight like Yor’Sahj where the boss places a DoT on the tank.
Unbreakable Spirit: This is a very interesting effect. As long as you can use the appropriate amount of Holy Power, a total of 50 or 17 heals at 3 Holy Power each, then you are cutting the cooldown of all of these spells in half. The main use I see in this is getting much quicker access to Lay on Hands and having multiple LoH per encounter. Assuming that your Holy Power comes entirely from Holy Shock used on cooldown, you would generate 10 Holy Power per minute. This would make it so that you could actually get the full benefit of a 50% reduction and have a 5 minute cooldown on your Lay on Hands. To get the full cooldown reduction for the other two spells would require a lot of casting Flash of Light and Divine Light on your Beacon target or Holy Radiance though.
Clemency: The main use that I see out of this ability is being able to have a reset on the cooldown for Hand of Sacrifice. That is a very powerful mitigation cooldown, and in certain situations having access to it twice in succession may be a tank saver.
Hand of Purity and Clemency I see as spells with very specific situations where they shine. There will be certain areas where taking them may be mandatory, but in any other situation I would take Unbreakable Spirit. Having access to two (or more depending on the duration of the fight) LoHs per encounter just seems too good to pass up.
Holy Avenger: This spell works the same way that the current Retribution ability Zealotry does. Any ability that generates Holy Power will generate a full 3 Holy Power. This is an amazing cooldown for straight throughput. In a tough healing situation, you can cast this to follow up every Holy Power ability with a LoD or WoG depending on the situation. It works extremely well in both single target situations and AoE healing situations.
Sanctified Wrath: This spell works extremely well for healing while on the move. For 20 seconds we can move around as necessary without losing much in the way of healing. Because it affects Holy Shock, it also allows our Holy Power flow to continue as we move around.
Divine Purpose: The bonus from this passive is very strong when it procs. The only thing that I don’t like about this passive is that I don’t control when the bonus procs.
I’ve found situations where both Holy Avenger and Sanctified Wrath are both extremely useful. As I said, the bonus from Holy Avenger has come in handy when I need to heal on the move. For all other situations I’ve taken Holy Avenger because I like the way it provides its throughput much better. As for Divine Purpose, I’m not a big fan of chance to abilities. It works well for having a passive Holy Power generation ability, but I’d take either of the other two over it in every situation.
I haven’t had the chance to reach level 90 on the Beta, and with my current situation I’ll probably have to wait until 90 premades are available to actually test these abilities out. I will do an in depth analysis of these once I actually test them out, but these are my thoughts on them until then.
Holy Prism: This is a very interesting mix of damage and healing. Depending on how the numbers work out this would be a nice spell to have for an extra AoE heal or a small burst heal on a single target.
Light’s Hammer: This looks like it will be a very nice AoE heal for that will fill the hole of a longer term group heal for paladins. Since the HoT was taken away from Holy Radiance, our other AoE abilities are all burst heal abilities and this should work well to fill in that gap.
Stay of Execution: This ability seems to work a lot like druid’s Lifebloom in how the heal works. It seems that this will be a strong single target heal that will give us a tank cooldown of sorts on a short cooldown.
Light’s Hammer is my favorite ability from this tier as I like that we’ll be getting another AoE ability through it. It seems like it will work well in combination with Holy Radiance and Holy Shock to keep our AoE healing strong. While Holy Prism also provides an AoE capability, it’s also a burst heal so it doesn’t fill the same niche as Light’s Hammer. Holy Prism seems like the hybrid spell between the other two in that it can be good for a quick AoE heal as long as everyone is near the target, or it can take the place of an extra instant single target heal. In cases where AoE isn’t really needed, it will be best to just take Execution Sentence though. It should be a strong single target heal that serves the place of a small cooldown.